Author: sara8989

The First Four Weeks

Sometime during my pregnancy, I wrote that “it’s true what they say, the days are long, but the years are short”. It only got more true after Austin was born – I just can’t believe that our little monkey will be a month old on Monday! He’s already grown and changed so much since he was born, and this week I had to put away some of his newborn sleepers because they just don’t fit anymore…..so sad! 😦

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I’m going to try to stay on top of regular updates, because it’s crazy how the days and weeks are blurring together, and it kind of breaks my heart that some of these precious memories will be lost in the folds of sleep deprivation and hormonal mood swings.

SO – how are we doing? We’re doing okay! Some days I feel like we’re totally kicking ass at this whole parenting thing; we have a good rhythm with feedings, Austin is sleeping well, and content for the few minutes that he’s awake, I manage to get some stuff done around the house….and other days, literally if all three of us are still alive, then that’s the victory of the day! I am very much a Type A personality, and those days are really hard for me; I’ll be honest. I’ve never been good at letting go of a plan, or at rolling with the punches, and both of those skills are so important with a newborn. Thankfully, Matt is an absolute all-star, and is much better at letting go of plans and rolling with punches. He’s picked up the slack when I drop the ball so many times in the past 4 weeks, I can’t keep count anymore.

Feeding

Breastfeeding has been an incredible challenge right from day 1 for us. Austin has struggled to latch on properly, and I’ve struggled with awkward positioning, raw / cracked / bleeding nipples and an incredible sense of failure that I’m just not getting the hang of this. I’ve felt enormous pressure (mostly self-imposed) to breastfeed vs. formula feed, but I won’t lie, more than a couple times I’ve been thisclose to throwing in the towel and giving up.

Thankfully – this past week has been a big turning point for us (I think)! Up until this week, we’ve been breastfeeding at just about every feed, and then topping up with a bottle of pumped breast milk to make sure that he is getting enough even if the breastfeeding isn’t going well. Well, this week at our check-in, his weight was up to 9 pounds 10 ounces, and he took 110mL from me while only breastfeeding for about 12 minutes!!! I seriously cheered out loud when I read those results on the scale – for one of the first times since Austin was born, I felt like I may have actually done something right, and that we were headed in the right direction!

Our lactation consultant has us exclusively breastfeeding now, no more bottle top-up. I’m very nervous about this, and to be honest, our first night without the bottle didn’t go well at all, but we’re going to keep working at it, and hopefully get to the point that it’s either breastfeeding OR a bottle to feed him, but not both. I’m glad that we did introduce the bottle early, because Austin doesn’t seem to mind switching back and forth, and I really appreciate the flexibility of someone else being able to feed him if I need a bit of a break, or have to step out for whatever reason.

Feeding is still totally a work in progress, but I feel like we’re starting to get there slowly, and we will keep working at it until we master it. I’m hoping in another few weeks that we will look back at all of these challenges and wonder what the big deal was.

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The Many Nicknames…

LOL – oh you guys…for a mama that insisted on naming my baby something that nobody could shorten or change with a nickname, I sure do have an awful lot of nicknames for my little man! Sometimes people hear me talking to Austin and look at me like I’m insane LOL…here are some of my current faves:

  • Nibs
  • Nibsy Magoo
  • Mr. Magoo
  • Flower
  • Flower-Bug
  • Flower-Bee
  • NakedBaby (said all together very quickly LOL – this is one of my favourites when we’re changing his diaper / feeding him…it just cracks me up)
  • Honey-Bee
  • Austin-Bee (what’s with me and the bees???)

There are probably more, but those are the top ones for now….sheesh, this poor guy….. wait until  he’s a gigantic teenager playing hockey and finds out that I used to call him Flower-Bee LOL…. I die….

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Sleeping

Oi…… for every time that I said the words “I’m so tired” before I had Austin….I truly and deeply apologize to the parenting community.

Some nights, Austin doesn’t do too bad, and will sleep for a solid 3 hours before waking up hungry. Those nights are totally manageable, and I’ve been REALLY lucky that most of the weeknights that I’ve handled on my own without Matt’s help have been like this. I’ve gotten pretty used to functioning okay on 2 – 2.5 hour stretches of sleep, but there have been a handful of nights from hell where our poor little monkey just can’t get settled back to sleep after a feeding, and is awake fussing for another 1 – 1.5 hours (or on particularly heinous nights like last night – 4 straight hours), meaning that by the time he does finally go down, he’s awake in another 20 minutes hungry again anyways. GAH.

Again – I’ll admit that my Type A personality makes me not so great in these difficult moments. I struggle to understand that there doesn’t always have to be a logical, and predictable reason that babies cry, sometimes they just need a hug or a cuddle, or they get hungry faster then they “should”….and I think what really is frustrating / upsetting to me is that I don’t know how or what to do to “fix” things when he gets so upset like this. Enter: guilt, stage left.

Everyone keeps telling me that things will improve sleep-wise, and I really hope that this is true for us. We’ve been sleeping downstairs on our couch for the past 4 weeks with Austin in his bassinet (one big bonus for us is that he does sleep very well in his bassinet, whereas I know a lot of babies struggle to sleep unless they are being held). I’m really looking forward to trying to move back upstairs into our bedroom (with the bassinet at the foot of our bed), I hate sleeping on our couch, and with my stitches, I find it really hard to get up and down from the couch because it’s such a deep, cushy sectional. This brings me to…..

My Recovery

Recovering from our delivery has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through in my life, and I’m probably still only 50% of the way there as of today. The first week was so hard. I don’t think there was one day where I didn’t sob until my stomach muscles hurt from either the pain, or more often from just the overwhelmingly poor prognosis for a full, long-term recovery. Google is awful. I challenge any of you to find more than 5 positive recovery stories from a fourth-degree tear during childbirth. I think I’ve found maybe 5 in total, with daily searches. I’ve probably read at least 200 stories from women struggling years later, who never returned to proper function. It’s completely and totally overwhelming, and if I’m having an emotionally weak moment, it’s enough to make me cry for an hour.

Slowly, very slowly, things are improving. I’m no longer in pain for 90% of the day or more, it’s more that sitting or moving certain ways feels a bit uncomfortable sometimes, and I can feel the stitches kind of pulling a bit, but nothing unbearable anymore by any means. I’m off all of my pain medications now (have been for over a week) and my biggest remaining challenge is staying on top of my fibre intake, because…well, use your imagination. (Sorry – TMI, I know). I’ve also been trying my best to get at least one Epsom salt bath in per day, and spend at least a few minutes with an ice pack as well, and I think both of these things have been really helping.

I hit my all-time low with recovery on Monday of this week (Monday October 30th) when I was absolutely sure that I had torn my stitches / incision open. Thankfully, my midwives were able to get me an emergency appointment with the OB that delivered Austin (and the one that stitched me back up!), and she saw me on Tuesday. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this OB – she has truly been one of the only bright spots in an otherwise very, very challenging situation. She just has the perfect balance of being so kind and empathetic, while at the same time, business-like and professional, and very knowledgeable. More important than any of that stuff is that she has 150% of my trust, and at a time when I’m feeling so vulnerable, it really puts my mind at ease to have a medical professional that I trust so much looking after me.

She examined me completely (external AND internal….dear God, I thought I would have a heart attack when she said internal, but she laughed at me and said that she of all people wouldn’t do any damage to the stitches that she had put in, so I had to trust her…and I did!). I nearly wept with relief (actually, I did weep with relief lol) when she told me that things were healing well, she couldn’t detect any issues at all, and that I had not torn open any stitches. That appointment really improved my head space when it comes to my recovery, and I’ve been more positive ever since.

It will be 4 weeks on Monday, and I’ve been told that I can begin pelvic floor physiotherapy as of 6 weeks. I have an appointment for November 23rd, and I just can’t wait to get started and feel like I’m actually contributing to my own recovery. I am really, really hoping to start light workouts again in December, and to be back in classes by January. I’m 100% committed to a full recovery, and will do whatever it takes to get there, so I’m trying to look at this as a goal of some sort (a new BHAG perhaps?!).

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My Favourite Moments

I’ve talked a lot about challenges in this post, but there have been so many wonderful moments that truly trump and overshadow all of the things that we’ve gone through this month.

My absolute favourite moments are the sleepy ones  after we finish feeding when NakedBaby (LOL) falls asleep on my chest….sometimes he will make these soft little “coo” noises, and I think my heart might just melt through my chest.

Lately, his little face has been getting so expressive, and he’s starting to mimic facial expressions like smiles, big open mouths, sticking out tongues etc, and I just love interacting with him a little bit more. He’s going to be such a fun little boy.

I just love to watch Austin and Matt together. Matt is doing such an amazing job, just like I knew that he would. He is patient, never gets flustered, and Austin just adores him. When I’m at my wits end and have tried everything I can think of to calm him down, Matt will do it in less than a minute. My favourite thing that they do is play “rocket ship”, where Matt basically grabs Austin under the arms and goes “ROCKET SHIP – WOOOOOOOO” in a super high-pitched voice as he lifts him straight up. Right now, Austin doesn’t really know what the hell his Daddy is doing, but I’m sure he will just die laughing in a few weeks! IMG_2410IMG_2395IMG_2360IMG_2356

So, all in all, it’s been a challenging, but amazing and rewarding month at the same time. I’m really proud that I’ve stuck with pumping and breastfeeding, and that Austin has gained weight so well in his first month, and all things considered, I’d call our first month as a family of three a success. November is a big month for all of us in terms of development, routine, and recovery. I am really optimistic and hopeful that by December, I will be much further along with my recovery, Austin will be further along inn his development, and all of us will be a bit more settled into our new normal.

Lots of love from the Sidders Clan!

-Sara xo

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Austin’s Birth Story

It’s taken me a while to document the story of how our sweet little sparrow came into this world for a lot of reasons, probably the most potent of all being that it’s a rare chunk of time that we get to sit down and take a breath these days!

Our original “calendar” due date was Monday October 9th, however at our 9-week ultrasound, based on Austin’s size / development, they had bumped us up by a few days, so Wednesday October 4th was the due date that we used for pretty much the entire pregnancy. Because of this, when Wednesday October 4th came and went…. I was so disappointed! I knew that first babies were quite often late (up to two weeks!), but was still so hoping that we wouldn’t fall into this category and that we would get to meet him sooner than later.

I took my last “bump photo” just before our due date on the 4th, but never ended up writing a 39-week post because I was getting kind of moody and impatient, and thought that if I kept pushing it off one more day – maybe I wouldn’t end up having to write one after all?! 😉

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We had our last midwife appointment on Monday October 2nd, and I left that appointment feeling so discouraged that we could still be so far away from the big day. There was all kinds of talk about induction methods, and all of them just sounded terrible to me. I was also feeling zero signs of labour (or even IMPENDING labour) at this point, and really felt like we were going to end up needing an induction at 41+ weeks. Matt tried his best to cheer me up after the appointment, but I was feeling pretty down in the dumps. I definitely found my emotions ramping up quite a lot in the last week of my pregnancy, which I’m sure is a combination of the hormones, and the stress of the upcoming labour / delivery.

Our due date came and went on October 4th, and there were still no signs of labour. I was becoming considerably more uncomfortable with each passing day (minute and hour it felt like!), having a bit of a harder time breathing, sleep was almost completely non-existent because I just couldn’t find a position to get comfortable and was up most of the night, and finding it much harder to move around as well. I took a few fitness classes that week (Newbody and BodyPump) to try and get things moving with some squats / lunges / walking etc, but no dice! The last class that I took before the big day was actually on our due date – BodyPump. I thought that was pretty cool – to be in the gym working out on our due date! It did really help me to get out of the house and force myself to do something other than stare at my belly and wait. I was also struggling quite a bit with really low self-esteem about how my body was looking / feeling at this stage.

Over the weekend, I was restless, moody and emotional. I was so blue on Saturday that I literally watched all three Star Wars movies (the newer ones, not the originals) back to back to back and hardly left the couch. That’s over 9 hours of TV if you’re keeping track LOL….I just didn’t have the motivation / energy to do anything at all…..poor Matt felt terrible and didn’t know how to help, but in reality, little did we both know that changes were coming…..

I went to bed on Saturday night gearing up for another sleepless, uncomfortable night, but actually fell asleep pretty easily until…. I woke up around 3:30am with stomach cramps. I’ve had some stomach cramping before, but they’ve always been fairly mild and gone away quickly. These cramps felt a bit different, and much more persistent. I went to the washroom a couple of times but nothing seemed to help them go away. The third time that I went to the washroom, I noticed that I had lost my mucus plug. I was flabbergasted, my mouth literally dropped open and I think I said “oh my god” out loud…could this actually be it???

I went back to bed but my mind was racing a million miles an hour….was today the day? What did we still need to do? Was everything ready to go? I kind of gave up on sleeping and instead started keeping track of the cramps coming and going on my phone. They were totally sporadic and inconsistent, so I wasn’t even sure that they were contractions at this point, I was still calling them stomach cramps.

I went to the washroom again, and there was quite a bit of “bloody show”….another sign of labour, and a more clear sign that things were starting to happen. I once again couldn’t believe it. This time, I went into our guest room where all of our hospital bags were packed and waiting, and rifled through our file folder looking for the grid where our family and friends had guessed the birth date / weight / time at our baby shower back in June! A couple of people (including my brother Andrew and his girlfriend!) had guessed October 8th, and I had a feeling that they were going to be the winners at that point!

Around 6am, I was getting weary of tracking these sporadic cramps, and not noticing any pattern or consistency whatsoever. I managed to close my eyes and get about an hour of sleep before giving up completely and getting up to come downstairs.

As soon as Matt was up, I told him about the cramps and the other symptoms and we both were totally jittery thinking that this could be the day! I knew that things would have to ramp up significantly though, because the cramps were still so unpredictable, and pretty mild at this point (I say no more then a 2 – 3 out of 10 on the pain scale, at most).

We spent the day nervously doing errands: grocery shopping, hanging some last pictures around our house, taking out the garbage, I baked a big batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins……….all the while, the cramps marched on in their inconsistent little pattern. Sometimes I would have to pause what I was doing to take a deeper breath through them, but the pain level was still totally manageable.

My parents texted later that afternoon asking if we were still coming over for dinner that night. We debated, and I ended up deciding that yes I could make it through dinner without letting on that things were happening. Matt and I had wanted to keep our labour / delivery as more of an experience just for the two of us, and let our family / friends know after Babe was here. These plans kind of threw a bit of a wrench into things, but since the pain was totally manageable at this point, we decided to just go with it.

Dinner was pretty uneventful, although I was getting more and more uncomfortable and a bit more anxious as the minutes / hours marched on. We left my parents early after dinner around 8:30pm and got home just before 9:00pm. Oddly enough, as soon as we got home, things started to ramp up on the pain scale pretty significantly. I was camped out on the couch watching Friends on Netflix for a good part of the evening, but it was getting to the point where I couldn’t ignore the stomach cramps anymore as they would come and go (or I guess now – I could call them contractions officially). I had to breathe much deeper as each one came and went. I was still managing okay, but definitely starting to get more and more anxious about my ability to deal with the pain as it ramped up. My hope was that since the cramps / contractions had been going on all day long, that we were starting to make progress now that things were getting more and more intense by the minute. Contractions were also starting to come a little closer together, although still pretty sporadic.

Matt was asleep on the other end of the couch, but woke up around 3am. I wanted him to get as much sleep as possible because I had a feeling that it was going to be a really, really long day. By 3am, I was having a much harder time dealing with the pain of each contraction. The best way that I can describe them was a deep, burning stomach cramp, sort of similar to a period cramp, but much deeper, and much more intense. Kind of an extreme twisting / burning sensation deep in my lower stomach. Up until this point, you wouldn’t have necessarily known that I was having contractions to look at me, but from then on it was pretty obvious when I had each one.

Matt and I worked through contractions from 3am until about 5:30am. I was starting to get really panicky about the pain level, and in my mind, had already decided that I was going to get the epidural as soon as I got to the hospital. I had gone into the whole thing with the mindset that I would see how I was dealing with the pain and make a decision from there, and everyone that I had talked to had told me that I would know right away whether or not I was going to want drugs or not. They were right! My sole focus at that point became getting to the point where we could go to the hospital so that I could get some pain relief.

I had Matt call our midwives at some point between 3am and 5am and tell them that we were in labour, and that I was keen to go to the hospital ASAP for some pain relief. Our midwife was kind, but firm that with our contractions still so irregular and far apart, and with the pain level that I was describing, that I wasn’t in a position yet where they would admit me to the hospital, and they wouldn’t be able to give me anything for pain at this point either. She encouraged us to wait a while longer until contractions were 4 minutes apart and significantly stronger. I was a bit snappy with her on the phone and said that I had no intention of waiting until I was in excruciating pain to go to the hospital, and that I would try and wait a while longer, but when I was done, I was done. She cheerily agreed and recommended that I take two extra-strength Tylenol and a Graval and try to get some sleep in between contractions.

Those poor people – having to deal with distraught mothers in labour and deliver the message that they can’t have drugs just yet…*shudder*…

From about 5am until 8am, we went through the same pattern, with contractions increasing in pain level, but not necessarily falling into a super reliable rhythm. The frustrating thing for us was that we would have 5 or 6 contractions in a row that fell into a good rhythm about 4 – 6 minutes apart…. but then the next several would be 12 minutes, 8 minutes, 15 minutes….it felt so discouraging and like we were taking 2 steps forward, 3 steps backward. The ever-increasing pain wasn’t helping at all either. Around 8:30am, I was feeling like I was approaching my breaking point, and had Matt call our midwives back, even though we weren’t at the 4-minute interval mark. Although I know that they weren’t overly thrilled to hear from us before the prescribed time, I was feeling like I couldn’t take much more, and was getting very anxious to go to the hospital. They asked me a few questions, and finally agreed to come over to our house to check my progress and tell us if we were ready to go to the hospital.

It was a little after 9am on Monday morning by the time they got to our house, and I was in significant pain when they arrived. They checked my progress and I was absolutely devastated when they told me that I was only 2 – 3cm dilated that point, and the hospital would not admit or give anything for pain until I was past the 4cm mark or in “active” labour. I started to cry when they told me about my progress and just felt so helpless and frustrated. I didn’t think there was any possible way that I could make it another several hours to get to the point that we needed to be at.

After the midwives left, I did some more crying for a bit, but then I kind of had a shift in mentality and decided to try and buck up a little bit. Rather than just sit back and let each contraction wallop me, I tried to get a bit more active in breathing through them, and even decided to try sitting in our bathtub for a little while (which had seemed like such a chore before labour started – I never thought I would be one to like sitting in the tub!). Matt was so wonderful the whole time, was super positive (without annoying the hell out of me – an impressive feat at this point in time) and supportive, and I’m pretty sure that if I had told him that murdering a baby animal would have helped me in any way, he would have done it without asking any questions.

From 9am until about 12:00pm, I sat in a hot bath, and worked really hard (with Matt by my side) to control my breathing. Miraculously, it worked quite well, and I was able to last for hours longer then I thought I could.  For some reason, between 12 and 12:30, I started to get anxious to get out of the bath and get onto the next step in the process (read: hospital). At this point, Matt had to send some pretty loaded text messages to the rest of our family because we were scheduled to go over to my parent’s place for Thanksgiving dinner that night, with Matt’s brother Troy and his Dad who was also in town…..yikes!! We were clearly in no shape to be going to Thanksgiving dinner, hospital or no hospital, so it was time to break the news.

I got out of the tub and migrated into our guest room where shit got real; REAL fast. It had been a mistake to get out of the tub before I knew that it was time to go to the hospital FOR SURE, because for some reason the pain intensity picked way up once I got out of the water, and even my super measured breathing and full attention to getting through each one was hardly keeping me afloat anymore. Matt sent out his message to our family telling them that we wouldn’t be at dinner because we had another pressing engagement (lol) to attend, and by the time that was done, I told him in no uncertain terms that this time I meant it…. I was DONE, and we were going to the hospital, whether the midwives agreed or not. He called the midwives and relayed this message (in a much politer tone then I would have), and they agreed that by this point, it was likely that I was at least another centimeter along, and that they should be able to do something with me. HALLELUJAH – we were on our way to the hospital.

Matt got all of our preassembled hospital bags together and loaded into the car, all the while maintaining polite conversation with our busy body neighbor (this older guy who literally sits outside on his step all day long and waits to ask questions about what we’re doing….). Our neighbor kind of drives me crazy on the best of days, and I was in NO mood to make small talk on my way out to the car, so when I heard his voice, irrational Sara actually turned around and started back up the stairs as if I wasn’t going after all LOL…too funny…Matt waited for a minute or so until he disappeared into his garage for something and then flagged me to hurry outside (you know – as quickly as a 40.5 week pregnant, in labour person can hurry anyways) and into the car. Once we were loaded in, Matt peeled backwards down the driveway like Vin Diesel, prompting me to shriek at him to TAKE IT EASY, as every tiny bump felt like a dagger through my belly! We’ve chuckled about this a few times since the big day…

The ride to the hospital was painful, but I was relieved to be on our way there. I got a bit weepy when we started getting closer because I was starting to realize that I was going to have to get myself from the car, all the way through the hospital, up to the third floor, and I just didn’t know how I was going to do it. Somehow, someway, we very slowly made our way through the hospital and up to the maternity ward. A couple of people along the way made comments that I didn’t look too well, or something to that effect, and I can’t say I disagreed with them lol at that point I’d been awake for about 34 hours straight (with only about 3 hours of sleep BEFORE that as well), and had been in significant pain for about 15 of those hours.

We checked in at the maternity ward and it felt like it took forever at the front desk, even though we had pre-registered. I remember leaning up against the railing on the side of the wall and just closing my eyes willing for it all to end. We finally, finally got sent down the hall to our room (Room #8 lol) and our midwives were there waiting for us when we arrived. I remember seeing the little incubator / bassinet on the other side of the room from the bed, and thinking that hopefully in just a little while, our Babe would be here laying in that bassinet!

One of our midwives asked me when I got into the room what I would like to do for pain management, and if I wanted an epidural. I didn’t hesitate – YES, immediately please. They checked my progress and found that I was 4 -5cm. I was disappointed to have progressed so little in the last 6 hours, but relieved that I was far enough along to get some relief. They called for the anesthesiologist right away and I was so relieved that help was on the way.

The anesthesiologist was an Asian woman who apparently has a bit of a reputation for being a tad sharp with laboring mothers, and our midwives warned me about this before she even came in the room. I wasn’t overly concerned at this point, I didn’t care about bedside manner, as long as she could make the pain go away! She was a little brisk, but I had no issue at all with her, and actually very much appreciated her down to business, straight forward attitude. I was so super scared of getting the epidural, but feeling anymore pain was even more scary to me, and so I bit the bullet and just went for it. I really appreciated how much the anesthesiologist talked to me throughout the procedure, telling me exactly what I was going to feel at every step of the way, what to expect, and reassuring me that everything was going great. I did get myself a bit worked up at one point (purely based on anxiety – nothing physical) and told her that I was feeling a bit faint. She reacted so calmly, told me it was no problem and to go ahead and lie down on my side until it passed. Her calm reaction really helped, and the feeling passed quickly, and I was able to sit up and finish up the job shortly afterwards. I didn’t feel a thing while it was all going on – just a little bit of pressure in my back!

After the epidural, the anesthesiologist stood back to watch my contraction graph. I had two contractions with her standing in the room and didn’t feel a single thing. I felt like crying with happiness, at that point I felt so, so happy and positive, and like the hard part was over. Now all I had to do was wait and painlessly push…I felt a huge surge of confidence; the hard part was over, I could do this!

Over the next 4 hours, we rested and relaxed a little bit in our room. With me under control, poor Matt could finally take a breath himself and have some snacks from our hospital bag, and overall it was a calm, positive block of time for us. There was one wrinkle about 2 – 3 hours in however where some of the pain started to come back in one very localized area of my lower stomach. It was very strange, like one perfect square of my belly was somehow being missed by the pain medication…it started out manageable, but after about a half hour, I decided to say something about it, and we called the anesthesiologist back into the room to fiddle with my dosage a little bit. They made a couple of tweaks, and the pain subsided again, although I could still feel a little twinge during each contraction, it was very manageable, and I told the anesthesiologist that I would be fine to manage with it (the pain was only about a 2 out of 10 in that one spot – no big deal at this point in time).

Because I got the epidural (or maybe just because my body sucks and we had been at this for nearly 40 hours at this point), my contractions had basically stopped shortly after getting the drugs, and I had been started on Oxytocin drip. The Oxytocin did wonders for getting me into a regular rhythm of contractions, but as Matt commented from watching the contraction graph, “sheesh – those things look strong”. They were nearly double the length and height of the contractions that I was charting before I got the drugs. Thankfully, I wasn’t feeling any of this (except for that one localized spot), however as time wore on, the pain was slowly creeping up from a 2 / 10 in that one spot higher and higher each time.

Our midwives checked my progress around 7pm and I was absolutely astounded when she told me that I was 9cm, and just about ready to start pushing. I think my mouth literally hung open when she told me – I couldn’t believe it! I felt like dancing on the bed! I thought that we were SO close to meeting our sweet little Austin! The pain was increasing in that one section, and I mentioned a couple of times to my midwives that I was getting concerned about it. I asked if we could call the anesthesiologist back again to see if there was anything she could do to help before we started pushing.

The anesthesiologist did come back, but seemed a bit more annoyed this time and after a couple of quick adjustments basically told us that this was the best she could do, and that she really couldn’t give me any more medication, that sometimes due to the baby’s position, or just the location of certain nerves, the epidural can “miss” certain sections, and there really isn’t anything that can be done. By this point, the pain was back up close to a 7 or 8 out of 10 and I was in significant pain again. My midwives checked my progress again (about a half hour later), and told me that I was 10cm, and it was time to start pushing. I was in serious pain, but thought that I was so close to the end that I could muscle through; it would all be over so soon and I would have my Austin on my chest.

We started pushing around 7:30pm, and I quickly realized that the part of labour that I thought I would be the absolute best at…I just wasn’t. I was pushing with everything I had, three times during each contraction (which I was now feeling the full brunt of – it was excruciating), but for some reason, Austin wasn’t moving down as they expected. They checked several times, and I could tell from the looks on their faces that something was not quite right. After about an hour and a half of pushing to exhaustion, I asked if we were making any progress. My one midwife couldn’t even lie and told me that “baby is in a tough spot right now”. It turned out that our tricky little Austin had pulled a bit of a last-minute flip on us and had turned his back to my right side. This position made it extremely difficult for him to get down through the birth canal. I’ll never forget the look on her face when she told me that. I knew, without her saying it, that things were not going well, and I started to panic.

By this point, the pain had expanded outside of the localized area in my belly, and although I’m sure the epidural was still doing something, I felt as though I was feeling everything at this point. And I was losing it. I remember completely giving up during one round of pushing and just breaking down sobbing from the pain because I just couldn’t bring myself to do it anymore. Shortly after that episode, I started to throw up from the pain, anxiety and exertion of it all. It was so violent that I nearly fell off the side of the bed.

At this point, my second midwife delivered the devastating news that Austin’s heart rate was in trouble. Baby boy had been super chill throughout our entire labour, but now his heart rate had skyrocketed and wasn’t coming back down. I was hysterical and panicked to get him out. I started trying to hold my pushes for even longer, desperate to make some progress, but nothing was happening. The midwives were in and out of the room at this point consulting with the OB on the floor, and sometimes, it was only Matt with me when I was pushing. My heart was breaking. I was terrified for Austin, terrified for Matt and I, and I just didn’t know what was going to happen to us. I can’t remember ever being so scared in my entire life.

The OB came into the room and explained what was going on to me, and told me that she was going to use a vacuum to help Austin get turned into the right position, and then with my help pushing, guide him down and out. I cried and cried when she told me her plan; I was scared for him and scared for me as well. I knew that a vacuum delivery would mean extensive tearing and that there was a risk for complications for Austin as well. I knew that we were all in trouble at this point though, and I was desperate to get him out ASAP.

It was a few (excruciating) minutes before the OB had the vacuum ready to go. By this point, each contraction was enough to send me up the wall. I was one of those crazy women you see on TV shows in labour…. except probably worse LOL. I was feeling frantic, panicky, anxiety to the point of vomiting. At some point while the OB was getting everything ready, she explained to me that there were going to be two emergency teams in the room for the birth, a respiratory team and a cardiac team, because Austin had been in distress. I did some more crying, but really at this point, hadn’t exactly stopped since everything had escalated, so it was more like “continued crying” lol

Finally, everything was ready to go, and she made her first attempt with the vacuum. It hurt like hell, and as she started to pull on him, suddenly there was this HUGE popping sound, and the she kind of flung backwards on her stool and very nearly fell right over. The vacuum hose had actually popped OFF of the vacuum head. I literally screamed out loud when this happened, I had no idea what was happening. She reassured us that it happens sometimes, and tried again. It popped off AGAIN, with the same crazy noise. I was absolutely hysterical. This thing was attached to my sweet babies HEAD, remember.

The OB looked me in the eye at that point and told me, “Don’t worry Sara, I have a Plan B, we’re going to get this baby out right now”. She then looked at Matt and told him that he needed to look away for this part. I had no idea what was happening, but the pain from whatever she was doing was enough to blur my vision and make me see stars. I was screaming at the top of my lungs.

She reattached the vacuum one more time and told me to push, which somehow, I did. She told me to keep pushing, which I did, with my eyes screwed shut. At this point, I was on another planet, I barely knew where I was anymore. Suddenly, the whole room was yelling loudly at me to LOOK, LOOK, LOOK! SARA, LOOK! I opened my eyes and looked down, to see my sweet baby laying on my chest, wriggling around and screaming his sweet little head off. I had dissociated so much from everything going on that I didn’t even realize that he had come out.

The first thing that I said (sobbed) to our baby boy was “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”. I repeated it probably 150 times, over and over and over and over and over again. I still cry thinking about everything that he had to go through to come into this world. I remember looking over at Matt, and he was also sobbing. I tearfully asked the OB and my midwives if he was breathing okay, and they all laughed and said “Listen to those pipes! He’s breathing just fine!”. The respiratory and cardiac emergency teams left the room with no work to do – thank you God.

My midwives wanted to take Austin away to do some routine newborn tests but the OB stopped them firmly and told them to leave Austin on my chest, because she still had lots of work to do on me, and I needed some natural pain relief.

The OB then looked up at me and explained what had happened. With a vacuum delivery, there are only three attempts before vacuum is no longer an option (for safety of the baby). With the first two failed attempts, she needed to make absolutely sure that this time Austin was able to come out, and so she had performed a fourth-degree episiotomy on me. Go ahead and Google it, but foretold is forewarned, it ain’t pretty even to read about.

It took an hour and a half and 40 stitches to repair the damage that was done to me. I felt every one of them, but having Austin on my chest did help with pain relief! The OB was very kind to us and reassured me that I would be okay, and that things were “looking really good” after she had finished. I was in a complete state of shock, and still didn’t quite comprehend exactly what had happened to me. I was so relieved that Austin was out and was doing okay. He passed all of his newborn tests with flying colours and it was the one saving grace for me.

We’ve come too far together for me to start lieing to you all now. Austin’s birth was the most traumatic experience that has ever happened to me. At the same time, no matter how traumatic it was (and continues to be if I’m being honest, I still cry every time I think about it), it brought us our sweet little sparrow, and he is perfect and healthy, and I wouldn’t trade the outcome for the entire world.

Today is 17 days post-delivery, and I am just starting to come to terms with our birth story. My ultimate desire for our labour and delivery was to bring Austin into the world in some sort of a calm, peaceful way. I didn’t want to be a crazy person screaming and climbing the walls of the hospital, which was why I was so steadfast on being open to pain, if I relief needed it. I was also desperately afraid of being cut in any way (C-section or otherwise), and well, we all know how that turned out! More than anything though, I wanted to be able to look back on our birth story with some sort of pride that I was able to do what women have done for centuries, successfully and safely bring a child into the world.

It’s taken me until this stage to associate an ounce of pride with our birth story. For the first two weeks post-delivery, I truly hated myself for how everything went down. If only I hadn’t been such a baby and needed the epidural, maybe things would have been different. If I had been better at pushing, maybe things would have been different. If I had been able to stay calm in the face of pain and uncertainty and stop myself from vomiting, maybe things would have been different. I still carry a lot of these feelings with me. I think I will for the rest of my life. That being said, with a little bit more space between the birth and where we are now, I’m starting to see that regardless of how things went down, we did get through it together, all three of us. Our birth was not an easy one, nor was it a routine one, and all three of us made it safely out the other side. That, in itself, is what I am proud of. I truly hope that as more time passes, that I can find more aspects of our birth story to be proud of, but if I don’t, then that’s okay too. We have our baby boy, I will heal eventually, and we will look back at all of this with a rueful smile someday.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts about future pregnancies and deliveries since all of this has gone down, and I’d be lieing if I said that I wasn’t a bit scarred from what ended up happening to Austin during our delivery, but the simple fact is that Matt and I want a big family, and I refuse to let what happened this time change anything about that, so we’re going to walk this road again, and again and again! Maybe with a bit more knowledge and a few more lessons from the school of hard knocks next time 😉

Documenting our birth story here has been therapeutic for me as well, so I thank you for taking the time to read it, and to all of you who have reached out to offer words of encouragement and advice as well. I am surrounded by an incredible network of people, and for  the past two weeks, I’ve had no choice but to kind of surrender all control into the safety net of those around me. It isn’t lost on me how lucky I am, and I know that with all of the love around us, that I will heal quickly, and all of this will be put behind us before too much longer – leaving only the happy outcomes behind!

All my love,

-Sara xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing….

Matt and I are so thrilled and proud to introduce you all to our sweet “Babe”: Austin Walter Sidders, born Monday October 9th 2017 at 9:41pm, weighing 8 pounds 2 ounces!

We are so in love with our little baby sparrow (my newest nickname for him because of how his little mouth gapes open when you go to drop milk or vitamin D drops in with a tiny syringe….oh my heart….<3 ) and I can’t believe the seismic shift in my priorities that’s taken place since he’s been born. Everything that I used to think was so important just fades into the shadows and as long as Austin is happy, I’m happy too.

We have been home since Wednesday of last week now, and are fumbling our way through each day one day at a time! This parenting thing is NOT easy (go figure – everyone that told me that the first stretch was difficult was right!), but Matt and I make a great united team, and we will get there together, one day, one feeding at a time. I’ll try to post weekly updates on how we’re doing – more so for my own posterity, but I’m more than happy to share our experiences with the online community as well!

Austin’s birth was a complete and total roller coaster of emotions with some of the ultimate highest and lowest emotions of my life. I am still trying to process a lot of the emotions from that day (or really, those days as it turned out) to be honest, and sometimes they still overwhelm me a full week later. I am working on documenting his birth story and will share it here once it’s ready (I know that I loved to read other women’s birth stories as we geared up for our own labour / delivery, so thought that it would only be right to pay it forward!).

Thank you all so very much for following our pregnancy journey and for all of your lovely comments / well wishes along the way. The past 9+ months has been so challenging, rewarding, confusing and filled with emotional highs and lows, and it is still so surreal to me that that phase has come to an end. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have our sweet Austin here on the outside, and can’t wait for the journey to continue!

All our love,

Sara, Matt & Austin

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38 Weeks

A Letter to our Baby Boy…. 

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Dear Babe, 

As I’m writing this letter to you, I am 39 weeks + 2 days pregnant….it could be any day now that we get to meet you, and your Daddy and I are getting so excited!

I know that people around us are getting anxious to meet you (your mama has never been so popular / gotten so many calls and messages!), but I’m feeling like you aren’t quite ready to make your way into the world just yet. I think that it will be at least another full week before we get to see your sweet face. That’s okay with me – you take your time, there’s absolutely no rush. 

We’ve been busy getting ready for your arrival this week now that I’m off work. Yesterday night we setup your baby monitor and your mobile in your crib. I’m loving how your room has come together, and I hope that it is perfect for you to get lots of sleep. I also found the most perfect storage containers that hang over the back of your closet door, and that made my whole day! 

I had another ultrasound to check on you earlier this week, and they estimated your weight at 6 pounds 10 ounces. I’d love for you to gain a bit more weight before you are born my love, your mama worries about you! I’m trying to eat lots of good, healthy foods for you this week, and hopefully we can get a few more ounces on you before the big day! 

You have the best Daddy in the entire world waiting for you out here baby boy. Watching your Dad take this pregnancy so seriously, and be so in tune with you every day has just made my heart swell. He reads to you every single night in my belly, has been to all of your prenatal appointments with me, and makes sure to talk to you in there every single day. I worry sometimes that I won’t be a good enough mama for you, but I’ve never once worried about your Daddy. He will be perfect. Also, I’m sure that he will be a hero with you because he’ll be the one to feed you Kraft Dinner and hot dogs when I’m not around! 

As excited as I am to meet you in person, I know I will dearly miss our days together with you on the inside. You are getting so strong in there, and always make me laugh with your crazy hard pushing on the inside of my belly. Sometimes it feels like you are going to push right through my skin! I love feeling like I always have a partner in crime with me, even when I’m “alone”. Thank you for making this pregnancy so easy on me! 

I am nervous about our labour and delivery now (I haven’t been overly nervous until this point, but am getting there now for sure!). Your mom is a bit of a control freak, and not being in control of that whole situation is starting to freak me out! The only thing that really brings me peace is to think that you and I will be in it together, no matter what happens. I know that the whole thing will be a bit of an ordeal for you too – so I’ll wish you luck, just like everyone is wishing me luck out here! Hang in there and be tough – your Daddy and I are waiting for you on the other side, and it will all be worth it, I promise. Your Daddy says that he will have a deli sandwich waiting for me once you are here (I haven’t been able to eat those for the past 9.5 months because there could be bacteria that isn’t good for you!). Your mama likes deli sandwiches! 

I won’t lie to you baby boy, it’s a tough world that you are coming into out here. Sometimes I lay awake thinking about what the world will look like as you grow up. My hope for you is that you and your generation will be the breath of fresh air that our world needs. That you will look for (and find) the good in every single person, regardless of circumstance or appearance. That you will work hard for every thing you have in life. That you will love and laugh freely and openly, and experience that same love and laughter back in return 100-fold. That you will take chances and make mistakes, but always hold yourself accountable for the decisions that you make, and work hard to make things right when you make the wrong ones. I know it’s a lot to put on your unborn shoulders my love, but the world is counting on you! 

I’m sad to say goodbye to this chapter in our lives together sweet baby, but know that we are starting off on the greatest adventure of our lives. If you had asked me 10 months ago what my purpose on this earth was, I would have said “to teach fitness classes and make people healthier”. That may still be true to some degree, but with absolute clarity I can say now that my real purpose on this earth is to be your mama (and hopefully – mama to your future brothers / sisters some day as well). I can’t promise that I will get everything right (in fact, I can promise you that I won’t get everything right), but I can promise you that I will do my very best for you every single day – and that nobody will ever love you as much as I do. Everything else – we can figure out together. 

Hang tough in there my boy – we are so close to the end, and hey, if you feel like a quick 1 hour labour will do the trick, I won’t complain! Looking so forward to meeting you!

All my love, 

Your Mama xoxo

37 Weeks

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I realized when starting this post that this MAY be the second last weekly pregnancy post that I write!

You may or may not have caught on from the tense that I use, but I write my weekly posts once the week has finished (i.e. I’m writing this 37 week post on Thursday the 21st, which is actually day 2 of week 38), so each post is more of a “week in review” looking back at the previous week! That means that at this time next week, I’ll be writing my week 38 in review….and by the time the next one comes around….I’ll be past 40 weeks! EEKS!

My midwives (and everyone else I talk to for that matter!) seem to be totally convinced that Babe will arrive late, so I’m kind of counting on a 41 week pregnancy unfortunately…..I’m so impatient and anxious to meet little Babe, I can’t wait anymore! That being said, I do have a lot of appointments and there are still a lot of things that I’d like to get done before the big day, so I guess I’m kind of torn between being so impatient, and being in a panic to finish things up!

We’re ticking away through the to-do list over here though, and milestones are just falling off the page! My last (half) day of work is tomorrow (OMG), and I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that I’ll be off work for a year….it doesn’t seem real AT all!

We had our first prenatal class last Saturday (made it just under the wire – phew! Matt and I were the closest couple to our due date in the whole class of 15 couples LOL) and it was pretty good. To be honest, I’d already came across 95% of the information in all of the reading / research that I’ve done on my own, but the instructor was really lovely and it was good reinforcement to hear it all again from a live person. Plus, it was good to have Matt there to hear everything with me so that he feels somewhat prepared as well!

I wasn’t a huge fan of the approach that was presented to labour / delivery (in particular the approach to drugs / interventions). I just found the stance to be a little bit strong for me and my learning style, and although I do agree with some of the points that were made, at the end of the day, I really don’t feel that it matters so much how our sweet babies come into the world, as long as they are healthy and happy, and as long as mama is too.

At the end of the day, I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned from all of my (many) hours of research on the topic is that everyone’s body and everyone’s experience is so different! If mom and baby are dealing well with the whole thing and can make it through stone sober by rolling around on an exercise ball, then that’s super awesome – good for them! If a different mom and baby are getting totally rocked, are miserable and opt for some relief in the form of drugs, then that’s super awesome too – and good for them as well!

I’m trying extremely hard to go into this whole thing with a really, really open mind. I haven’t written off literally any options, and I’m trying to learn as much as I can about all of the different schools of thought. I think at the end of the day, no matter what everyone has to say, this is going to come down to Babe and I, and we’ll figure it out together, just like we have everything else the last 9+ months. Something about that thought brings me a lot of comfort and really puts my mind at ease 🙂

Aside from prenatal class, it’s been a pretty chill week! I had a last minute opportunity to pop downtown for a Leafs preseason game with my family on Tuesday night (while coincidentally, Matt was downtown at the Jays game with his friend from Red Lake at the same time!), so that was pretty cool! I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to get tickets to the home-opener game on October 7th, but am thinking that’s probably a little ballsy considering that would be three days past our due date, and Leaf tickets ain’t cheap 😉

I’ve been back in the studio a little bit more this week participating in classes (BodyPump mostly, but I did do a Newbody class last Friday as well!), and am sooooooo, so, so, so uber thankful that I’m still able to work out at this late stage in the game! The activity and the endorphins are doing WONDERS to keep me sane these days, and even when I’m a bit achey going into the workout, I feel the absolute most like myself after taking a class (shocker right? Somethings never change….;) ). Babe has also started to stay awake during Pump classes and he moves around lots, particularly after the chest track which is just hysterical to me for some reason LOL…

My hope is to get out to at least 2 – 3 classes next week while I’m off work, and really, to keep going right up until the birth if possible! I can’t come up with a reason at this point for me to stop what I’m doing, so it’s full steam ahead as far as I’m concerned!

On the eating side, you’ll be glad to know that my drumstick phase is officially over (damn, that lasted a while lol), and I’ve moved on to just devouring as much as physically possible. I sometimes go into what I call “bread blackouts” and will just eat three pieces of plain, un-toasted bread right out of the bag while standing at the counter (much to Matt’s dismay – the poor guy budgets out exactly to the slice how much bread he needs for his sandwiches for the week, and these bread blackouts have been messing with his mojo big time LOL).

Sleeping, for the first time in this entire pregnancy, has become a bit more of a challenge, but just a bit. I’ve been waking up several times a night, mostly because I’m finding myself rolling onto my back in my sleep, which is a bit uncomfortable now. Jamming a small pillow in behind my back is helping somewhat, but last night when I did that, I woke up super sweaty, hot and a bit disoriented and ended up hurling the pillow across in the room in sleepy confusion lol (dear lord – please don’t let me do that to my baby 😐 ). I’m taking solace in the fact that I’m only setting an alarm for ONE MORE DAY, and then I’ll be able to sleep in / nap as I please!

*insert happy dance*

I wanted to finish off today by thanking everyone for their super kind words and encouragement as Babe and I round the last of the corners in our pregnancy and are barreling down on the finish line. I’ve been surrounded by so much love and support throughout this pregnancy, and I really believe that this has contributed to how lucky I’ve been in terms of how I’m feeling / what I’ve been able to do etc It truly means the world to us – thank you! ❤

I’m sure I’ll be here next week with our 38 week in review……but hey, you just never know 😉

Have a great week!!

-Sara & Babe xo

36 Weeks

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For those of you who are SUPER perceptive….you may notice that my blonde is back! I bit the bullet and got my highlights re-done on the weekend, and Babe doesn’t seem to have minded too much (in fact, I think he slept through the entire appointment lol). Although I was mega-freaked to get it done, reassurance from my midwife, and from most of my more credible forums online pushed me to just do it. And I’m glad I did – as it turns out, being blonde is kind of part of my identity, and I was really missing it as my natural colour was growing in more and more!

Although I’m far from “suffering” over here, I just can’t believe how S-L-O-W-L-Y the weeks are dragging by….my god! It feels like 36 weeks was seriously 3 weeks long! It’s been a busy week, and my energy levels are seriously fading, making it somewhat of a challenge to keep up with things these days.

On Thursday night, Matt and I went to a car seat workshop up at the Milton Fire Hall hosted by the City of Halton where they teach you a bit about car seat safety and then do an inspection of your installed car seat to make sure that you’ve done it correctly. I had little part in installing our car seat, but Matt whipped through it in about 3 minutes claiming that it was “EASY AS PIE”, so I was curious to see how the experts graded his handy work 😉

He was perfect – go figure!

I had  a REALLY negative experience going for a prenatal massage on Friday afternoon and it took me a couple of days to get over the stress of the whole thing (seriously – who goes to a massage and leaves a basket of stress???). Without getting into too much detail, I was really freaked out by a couple of things that the therapist wanted to do / did without asking me, like use essential oils in the room and rub them all over my neck and shoulders. Everything I’ve read online / in books about essential oils says that using them is somewhat of a controversial topic in pregnancy (you know – along with hot dogs and feta cheese…..lol 😉 ), and  bottom line was that if she had asked me, I would have said NO, keep them away from me for right now please. But, I wasn’t given that choice, so instead was relegated to a full day of surfing Google reading articles about how potentially dangerous certain essential oils can be, and trying to decipher what the hay oils were used on me to see if any of them were on the forbidden list.

Grumble grumble grumble.

If I could give any health practicioner dealing with a pregnant lady any advice, it would be so simple…..just ASK us what we’re comfortable with! We’re a crazy bunch – believe me when I say: WE WILL TELL YOU if you just give us the opportunity! Sigh…..

On Saturday, Matt and I tackled some freezer cooking / baking! Our kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off (not good for this nesting mama), but man did we power through a lot of cooking / baking!

Over the course of the afternoon, we managed to whip up 4 loaves of homemade herb & cheese bread (SO, so good – if we hadn’t frozen the other three loaves, they would all be gone by now – we tend to black out while eating this bread and come to when the whole loaf is gone….), 48 oatmeal butterscotch chip cookies and 2 chicken penne casseroles. Phew! I was seriously beat by the time the whole operation was said and done – even though truth be told, Matt did more of the heavy lifting then I did 😉

It felt pretty good to get some of that done and into the freezer – although I do have a few more things I’d like to make (maybe something a little healthier than cookies and bread lol). Maybe some soups or something like that…..

It was our friends 30th birthday party on Saturday night, and it was nice to get out of the house and do something non-babe related for a change! It feels like about 98% of our lives are devoted to getting ready for Babe these days (which I know is going to be reality for the next 18+ years likely LOL) – which is super awesome don’t get me wrong, but a change of pace is always nice!

On Sunday we went for our 36.5 week maternity photo session at the always beautiful Andrew’s Scenic Acres (where Matt proposed to me!). I had lots of people give me the advice that I should keep this session in our calendars even though I’ve really been feeling huge and quite ugly lately (if I’m just shootin’ straight with you lol), because I’ll be glad to have the pictures after all is said and done, and more importantly, to show Babe one day. So, keep the session we did, and although I’m really not sure that I’ll like any of the pictures, I have to admit that we had fun doing the session, and we always like to get out to Andrew’s Scenic Acres, which didn’t disappoint on the most gorgeous evening with sunflowers in full bloom……..life is so beautiful 🙂

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My symptoms have been minimal, although a new one has popped up with is that my body temperature is approximately that of the core of the mother-effing SUN these days. Seriously, if this is what menopause / hot flashes is like, then I’m all for hormone therapy, because it’s BRUTAL. I’ll just be sitting there at work, and will suddenly realize that I’m burning up like I’ve been in a tanning bed for about 7.5 consecutive hours….and the sweat……..take it from a VERY sweaty gym-goer……..sweating from doing burpee tuck-jumps is considerably different than sweating from sitting at your desk in an air conditioned office.

All in all, I guess I’ll take the “sun like” body temperature over any more serious symptoms. I’m getting progressively more and more awkward / uncomfortable by the day, but still nothing crazy. My nightly trips to the bathroom are back in full force, but I’m still able to sleep for the most part undisturbed which is nice (I’m trying to stock-pile some of this!).

Overall – although 36 weeks went by SUPER slowly, it was a productive week for us. I’m so very thankful to be working on week 37 now, and can’t help but think that every day brings us significantly closer to meeting Babe now! Baby Centre tells me that we have 21 days until our due date. Um….what?

I’ve been feeling like Babe will come early, although I know that first babies are more often late to the party. Time will tell!

Hope you’ve all had a great week! Chat soon!

-Sara & Babe xo

 

35 Weeks

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When my mom first saw me on the day that the picture was taken she squealed and said “Awww….you had a Minnie Mouse costume when you were a baby that looked just like that!”.

Sigh…..just the look I was going for 😉

Minnie Mouse aside, I have two of these (non-maternity) dresses in different patterns, and I swear to you, they are the only comfortable items of clothing left in my arsenal these days! Pants are way out (have been for two weeks now – that hideously uncomfortable ship has sailed), and recently leggings have been getting on my last nerve too (I’m not loving how they sit UNDER my belly now, and tend to “roll” when I try to pull them up OVER my belly)…..grumble grumble. I only have 10 work days left (!!!!), so basically, 10 days that I have to wear real clothes, and the rest of the time while I’m off and waiting for Babe to arrive, I’ll just sit around in a bathrobe. 😀

Over this past weekend, Matt and I were out and about on the Niagara Peninsula on a bit of a “babymoon” to Niagara on the Lake, and a quick stop-in at our friends cottage on Long Beach as well. The weather was a bit crazy and cold,  but truth be told, I love the cooler / rainy weather, and usually actually enjoy being at cottages when it’s not the “ideal” beach day, so I was happy as can be!

Niagara on the Lake was beautiful as it always is, and we got to stay at the super fancy Queen’s Landing hotel, which was actually a wedding gift from the same friends whose cottage we were visiting (thanks Bailey and Graeme!). We had a fireplace right in our room, and the most gigantic bed I think I’ve ever seen, which was nice for Babe and I.

That being said, I realized just how amazing our bed at home actually is, because after the night in the hotel, I woke up a bit sore and uncomfortable for pretty much the first time this entire pregnancy, and was up in the middle of the night a couple of times with twangs of pain from rolling around, that I normally don’t get at all in our bed at home. Sleeping in our own bed on Monday night confirmed that it was totally bed related, because everything was 100% again sleeping in our bed.

We had a pretty low-key weekend in Niagara on the Lake; we went to a super fancy (and very delicious) restaurant for dinner on Sunday and were sweating bullets that they wouldn’t let us in because we didn’t really bring any fancy clothes, but thank goodness they decided to slum it on that particular day 😉 this restaurant actually served me my first steak that I didn’t feel like I had to nuke because it was under-cooked in this entire pregnancy! Woot!

Once we got home from Niagara on the Lake, I turned my attention to starting to pack our hospital bags, which we have a good start on now. I’m still missing a few items for my bag, but Babe’s bag is in good shape. Matt’s we still need to dig out of the basement, but his will mostly be food and entertainment anyways (since he refuses to pack pyjamas – which he will come to regret, I’m sure). It’s a bit hard to know what we will actually need in these bags; every Google search seems to return a handful of new things that I had never even thought about / heard about before…..but here’s hoping that we’re at least close. I figure over the next few weeks I’ll probably add to all of the bags and they’ll each be 50 lbs by the time we actually take them to the hospital.

We had a great midwife appointment on Tuesday of this week, and she commented that Babe is actually feeling like a baby on the “smaller side” which threw us for a loop (because we’ve been picturing him as a total muncher this entire time, ever since they bumped up our due date by a week because of his size!). She reassured us that that wasn’t a bad thing at all, and probably would make for an easier labour. She (totally) guessed that he would be somewhere between 7 – 8 pounds at birth, but not heavier than 8. Time will tell!

Symptom wise, still not a lot to complain about, my back pain and pelvis pain is actually improving day to day, or at the very least, not INCREASING, which is nice. I’m not loving long walks at all (though let’s be honest – I never did anyways lol), and just feel a bit awkward / uncomfortable when I have to walk for long stretches these days, but I’ll do it if I have to! BodyPump is still feeling great however – and I ended up teaching one more Wednesday class solo tonight, so there you go! I’m going to try to really hold myself accountable to getting at least 2 solid workouts in per week for the next few weeks until our due date; I’m a bit worried that without a class on the schedule to force me into the gym that I’ll end up just phoning it in and lounging around for 4 straight weeks, which won’t do Babe or I any favours in the long run.

I have my first prenatal massage appointment on Friday which I’m looking forward to, and we are also doing our last maternity photo session on Sunday evening at Andrew’s Scenic Acres (the apple orchard / pumpkin patch where Matt proposed!). I’m trying to keep my mind off of the fact that our prenatal classes don’t start until NEXT Saturday…….*hyperventilates*……SO not smart of us……so not smart…….

Anyways, like I’ve written before on this blog, I’m caught in a bit of a cross-hair between wishing that time would go by faster, and trying to savour every last (increasingly STRONG) kick and push on my belly (seriously….boy has been doing his squats, it feels like he’s going to push his foot THROUGH my skin some days lol). It will be so surreal to have Babe on the outside and to have to share him with everyone, and I’m trying to enjoy these last few weeks of our special little bond as much as I can. I know that even with the ups and downs, I will miss these weeks when they’re gone.

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful week, and are settling back into routine with the arrival of September. September / October have always been my two favourite months of the year, and I just love the fresh new feeling that the crisp Fall air brings with it. I hope that this year it brings great things for all of you.

-Sara & Babe xo